The point of this journal, blog, diary (whichever you like) is for me to be able to share my enthusiasm, frustration, delight, and addiction with yarn. I say yarn in general because I would like to learn to knit and I'm not going to limit myself by saying this will only be about crochet. It probably won't just be about yarn as I'm starting down the road of learning jewelry making as well. But for now, yarn suffices. I hope that you'll join me on this journey! It's going to be a blast!
We recently received a letter from a perceptive Classics reader noting a possible error in our current edition of Jane Eyre. Here’s the passage in question — a John Reed tirade:
"Where the dickens is she?," he continued. "Lizzy? Georgy (calling to his sisters) Joan is not here: tell mamma she is run out into the rain — bad animal!"
Joan? Joan Eyre? Surely not. Fascinated, we took this query Stevie Davies, editor of our current edition and resident Bronte expert, who gave us this enlightening answer.
Delighted to be asked, and it’s a good question, asked by a keen-eyed reader, because it picks up some of the meticulous verbal nuancing and class inflection that make Jane Eyre so authentic a social document. John Reed is calling Jane by a version of her name he considers proper to the lower ranks. This goes right back - Shakespeare: ‘Greasy Joan doth keel the pots.’
Oh, the ever-so-subtle art of the Victorian dis. John Reed is such a toad. Can someone please prepare a list of low-rent versions of common names so we can bring these insults back?
Today is Copernicus’s 541th birthday. You may remember Copernicus as the man who said “Hey, what if the Earth went around the sun?” To which the Catholic Church replied “Hey, what if we set you on fire?”
In which John Green teaches you about Charlotte Brontë’s classic coming of age novel, Jane Eyre. Look, we don’t like to make judgement values here, but Jane Eyre is awesome. By which we mean the book is great, and the character is amazing. When Jane Eyre was published in 1847, it was a huge hit. It really hit the controversial balance beautifully, being edgy enough to make news, but still mainstream enough to be widely popular. It was sort of like the Fight Club of it’s day, but not quite as testosterone-fueled. You’ll learn a little about the story, learn about Jane as a feminist heroine, and even get some critical analysis on how Bertha might just be a dark mirror that acts out Jane’s emotional reactions.
“We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.”
Maria Mitchell is known as the first professional female astronomer in the United States. On October 1, 1847, she peered through her family’s telescope and “swept around for comets,” as she did every night it was clear. But that night she became the first woman in the U.S. to discover one. She later became the first Astronomy professor at Vassar College, where she would often ask her students, “Did you learn that in a book or observe it yourself?”